Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Is Venezuela Next? FOX News Paves the Way!

Reported by Ellen - February 5, 2005 -

Not content with having invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and threatening Iran and Syria, Bush is now setting his sights on a new area to spread his own peculiar brand of democracy and freedom: Venezuela. If yesterday's FOXNews.com article is any guide, I think it's safe to say that FOX News will do its best to make his way a bit easier.

"We report, you decide" FOX lets us know what we will decide about Hugo Chavez in the title, "The Iron Fist of Hugo Chavez."

The first two paragraphs persuade us a bit further: "Hugo Chavez, the left-wing leader who is moving toward totalitarian rule at home in Venezuela and backing guerrilla movements in the region, could become a test for the new Bush administration.

'I think we have to view, at this point, the government of Venezuela as a negative force in the region,' said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her confirmation hearings last month."

Anyone wondering why? Here's the reason: "Venezuela is the world's fifth-largest oil producer; Chavez basically controls 15 percent of U.S. oil imports. He allegedly is taking billions of dollars in revenue to grease the way to one-man rule of a country with a 50-year history of democracy. (Comment: Unlike President "Either you're with us or you're against us" Bush and the "Do It Our Way or Else" Republicans in Congress, apparently.)

His critics say the government's use of its oil wealth threatens the region."

How does Venezuela's use of oil threaten the region? "Venezuela's oil revenues subsidize food prices for the poor, although a large bottle of cooking oil can cost just pennies. The money generated from the $50-per-barrel cost also is being used to buy weapons such as 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles and 30 attack helicopters from the Russians. There also have been discussions about a possible $4 billion purchase of advanced MiG fighter jets."

Comment: Note the disdain for subsidizing food prices for the poor and the inference that they don't need the subsidies. Also note that "Real Journalism" FOX doesn't bother to report what the per capita income might be (those "pennies" for cooking oil might be out of their reach) or what other food might cost. Or are the Venezuelans supposed to make cooking oil their food staple?

But here's the real rub, I suspect. "Oil also is sold at cut-rate prices to Cuba, which in exchange supplies doctors, teachers and military advisors to Venezuela. Chavez opponents say Cuban leader Fidel Castro is his model."

But don't forget the MiG jets Venezuela purchases. "One State Department official noted, 'We shoot down MiG's.'"

"Fair and Balanced" FOX then quotes one political science professor named Anibal Romero to let us know that Chavez is a threat to the US. Romero called Chavez "a dangerous fellow, a confused person who is deeply anti-American and is prepared to do terrible things." What terrible things is he prepared to do? We have no idea. Maybe Saddam sent the WMD's to Venezuela!

Here's the balance, apparently: "'Some people here are very worried about what's going to happen. ? If you don't have rules or somebody who respects the rules, they can do whatever they want ? they can be [another] Fidel Castro,' said Baruta Mayor Henrique Capriles."

Here's my favorite part: "Chavez's opponents admit he is popular, especially among the poor. But being popular, they say, does not give the president the right to do whatever he wants." Comment: Unless it's President "I won a mandate" Bush. No, wait a minute. Bush's approval ratings hover around 50%. I guess having a mandate isn't the same as being popular. Yes, that explains it.

"Now, buoyed by electoral victories and high oil prices, Chavez appears to be doing everything he can to snuff out democracy before the eyes of a nation and a world that does not seem to be paying much attention... 'The danger that we are facing as Venezuelans is the possibility of waking up and not having any of our liberties,' (Chacao Mayor Leopoldo) Lopez said... Chavez has packed the Supreme Court and the army with his supporters, seized control of the country's wealth and introduced a penal code that criminalizes dissent. Anyone who opposes him faces violence or prison... Pictures showing violence against anti-Chavez protestors no longer are allowed to be shown on public or private Venezuelan television." Comment: Imagine having to live in a country like that! I think we can.

"'Our own journalists don't know whether they can show whatever it is they are trying to cover,' said Ana Christina Nunez, legal counsel for Globovision, the country's only 24-hour news channel. But Chavez's program, 'Hello, President,' sometimes runs for six hours."

Sounds like a catchy name for a new FOX News program, don't you think?